To the Editor:
In reply to the letter by Ken McKelvey, age 21, “Work for Wind” (3/31), it warms my heart to see letters from the younger members of our community taking a stand on the problems affecting our coastal community. Sea level rise is a reality.
I lived at a waterfront house in West Creek where the bulkhead was built in 1949 by the elderly neighbor. The bulkhead would be nearly under water at high tide. The neighbor told me the bulkhead, when built, was at least 2 feet above the high tide level. I now live in Tuckerton Beach where the homes were built on slabs. Today the slabs are under water with nearly every full moon high tide. Nearly every home has been raised since 1962. So we can see firsthand that sea level rise has negatively impacted our area over the last 50 years.
Another letter (“Go Slow With Wind,” 3/31) claimed the windmills are built overseas and questioned the job opportunities for Americans with these projects. As a merchant mariner working in New York Harbor, I see plenty of windmill generators coming down from Albany on heavy lift ships or barges. These are made upstream at the General Electric plant and sent all over the world.
Also, with recent decisions in federal courts, the Jones Act has withstood recent challenges and will ensure U.S. citizens working on U.S. vessels will be building these things in our waters. Companies such as WindServe Marine in Staten Island have formed to get in on these new opportunities. WindServe is in negotiations with the International Organization of Master Mates & Pilots, a maritime union, to ensure these jobs will be good-paying union jobs.
So over the objections of those few who don’t want to see windmills on the horizon while at their multimillion-dollar homes on LBI, we should continue with the windmill projects as proposed. These projects will benefit far more folks in the long run.